There are many repetitive, administrative processes used across the organisations within the ICS that require both clinical and non-clinical staff to repeatedly access, review and act on information presented. These processes often require the unnecessary duplication of data entry across multiple forms or systems and/or paper-based outputs to facilitate the transfer of information from one system to another. There was little automation in place to reduce the amount of time taken to administer processes, reuse data and improve data quality. The wide mix of internally and externally hosted systems only added to process complexities, and subsequent inefficiencies that contributed to an overall poor user experience. Repetitive and inefficient processes unnecessarily occupied staff that were required to manually enter, manipulate, and check information which is all subject to risk of human error. Whilst there are already good examples of collaboration across the Cheshire and Merseyside ICS, there is a need to increase efficiencies, remove barriers and support patient care throughout the region.
Over the past 12 months adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate administrative tasks and free-up staff time has become increasingly widespread across the ICS. RPA is no longer a ‘proof of concept’ technology – the early adopters have already realised significant benefits and demonstrated the value of RPA.